Sleep better live longer

By Rebecca Carden — May 21, 2016

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Sleep better live longer. That’s our wish for you!

8 hours of quality sleep each night seems like a pipe dream to many of you out there. We know because you’ve told us that insomnia is one of your biggest challenges and roadblocks to better health.

Sleep is a non negotiable must have for all of us. Without it we become psychotic, malfunctioning and downright dangerous to society. We also create long lasting negative health issues that impact upon everyone around us.

Lack of sleep reduces our IQ, throws our hormones out of balance, sends our moods spiralling out of control, makes us a danger on the roads, increases blood pressure, bad cholesterol and body fat. Those that sleep less than 7 hours a night have been found to be 35% more likely to develop obesity.

Dr. Walseben from the American Board of Sleep Medicine states that when “neurotransmitters are disrupted by sleep loss, the chemical changes in the brain can result in manic feelings and behavior similar to bipolar disorder.” Chronic sleep deprivation has the ability to compound these hormonal imbalances to have long term impacts on health including thyroid dysfunction and early onset menopause.”

sleep better live longer

Stop bragging about not getting enough sleep. Instead brag about much sleep you got.

Here are some simple tips for making the sleep of your dreams a nightly reality:

#1 Avoid Caffeine, Sugar and Alcohol

Caffeinated products decrease a person’s quality of sleep which is kind of no brainer. If you haven’t figured this one out already, well……..

As any coffee lover knows, caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake, same goes for sugar late at night. Avoid caffeine after 3pm.

Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night.

#2 Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment

A quiet, dark, and cool environment is best. Why do you think bats congregate in caves for their daytime sleep? Remove all light from the room including LED’s from your alarm clock. If you don’t have block out curtains and you live in the city, get some now or get an eye mask.

For the love of god if you have a TV or computer in your bedroom, move it out now. Never charge your phone by your bed, the electromagnetic frequencies emitted by these devices are bad news to your best sleep ever.

#3 Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine

Get yourself a diffuser for your bedroom and some sleep inducing therapeutic essential oils. doTerra’s Lavender Peace blend, Vetiver, Sandalwood or Roman Chamomile are all brilliant sleep aids. Not only do they calm and soothe your nervous system, they actively work to reduce cortisol and inflammation in the body as well. Winning.

sleep better live longer

Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stimulating activities—doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol which increases alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down in a journal—and then putting them aside.

#4 Go to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired

Struggling to fall sleep just leads to frustration. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep.

#5 Don’t Be a Night time Clock-Watcher

Staring at a clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night increases stress making it harder to fall asleep. Turn your clock’s face away from you or cover the numbers with some cardboard or thick cloth.

#6 Use Light to Your Advantage

Natural light keeps your internal clock or circadian rhythm on a healthy sleep-wake cycle. So let in the light first thing in the morning and get out of the office for a sun break during the day. You can consider trying a Body Clock Light Alarm which uses light instead of noise to wake you up.

#7 Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Having a regular sleep schedule helps to ensure better quality and consistent sleep.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on weekends to avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover. Waking up at the same time each day is the very best way to set your clock, and even if you did not sleep well the night before, the extra sleep drive will help you consolidate sleep the following night. Learn more about the importance of synchronizing the clock in The Drive to Sleep and Our Internal Clock.

#8 Nap Early—Or Not at All

Many people make naps a regular part of their day. I don’t know how you guys do it really I don’t. However, for those who find falling asleep or staying asleep through the night problematic, afternoon napping may be one of the culprits. This is because late-day naps decrease sleep drive. If you must nap, keep it short and before 5 p.m.

#9 Lighten Up on Evening Meals

Eating a pizza or steak at 10 p.m. may be a recipe for insomnia. Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion such as spicy Indian or a pasta carbonara. If you get hungry at night, snack on foods that (in your experience) won’t disturb your sleep. Almonds, bananas and warm milk all help to induce sleep so go for them first.

#10 Balance Fluid Intake

Drink enough fluid at night to keep from waking up thirsty—but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.

#11 Exercise Early

Exercise helps promote restful sleep if it is done several hours before you go to bed.

Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly—as long as it’s done at the right time. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which helps activate the alerting mechanism in the brain. This is fine, unless you’re trying to fall asleep. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day.

So there you go, there’s some hot tips to help you find your sleep mojo again. Persist with developing a sleep routine, don’t give up and eventually you will get there. Sleep better live longer.

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